In reply to the Question on Beta
As I`m sure you have noticed that closed beta is still not here.
The publishing situation is keeping us behind schedule. As we can`t start testing product on large scale without a clear light from a publisher - and our publishing arrangements are still being finalized. We`ll inform you in the coming weeks once all of this is resolved. And hey we are not delaying things by months or years here, just weeks
I`m just glad we got the new website, screens and videos next week to make up for this delay.
Now, to answer most of your questions...
Beta testing will happen in 4 or 5 stages.
Closed Beta Stage 1 -
we`ll begin by sending stripped down game client with updater tool and single-player skirmish to the first 50 testers. You`ll get a chance to play around with this for the first two weeks. During this phase we`ll be solving technical problems preventing people from starting the game, and other major crashes.
Closed Beta Stage 2 -
will commence 2 weeks later. We`ll invite 50 additional testers, and send out a major update that will feature multiplayer skirmish mode. During stage 2 we`ll be fine tuning connectivity, chat and basics of player vs player gameplay. All 3 multilayer skirmish mods will be available, including team defense of huge capital fortresses.
Closed Beta Stage 3 -
starts 3 weeks later. We might invite up to 100 additional testers (but this is unconfirmed.) We`ll send out another major update that will add MMORTS game mode with all early game content, including player vs player. But at this point we`ll disable singleplayer skirmish and multiplayer as we`ll need everyone playing MMORTS mode. We`ll do account reset every couple of days for the first 2 weeks. And once a week for the following 3 weeks.
Open Beta Stage 4 -
comes 5 weeks later. From 500 to 1,000 additional testers will be invited, and only MMORTS will be featured. For the next 6 weeks we`ll be adding late game MMORTS content until Gold Master. There should be 2 or 3 server wipes.
Stress Test Stage 5 -
is a good possibility once we hit Gold Master. We`ll invite up to 2,000 additional players to play MMORTS mode of the product for free for 2 weeks before the game becomes available in store. This will help us stress test the servers and hopefully we`ll get some players hooked. We might be able to allow Stage 5 player accounts to keep their progress once they upgrade to a full retail version.